Chicago hip hop and R&B art collective Rosebud Allday had big plans for summer until the coronavirus pandemic hit, shutting Rosebud’s recording studio, canceling all of its music tours and shows, and blanketing the collective with a big question mark.
Rosebud co-founder Jayson “Jsun” Rose wanted to create a positive response to the pandemic through music to instill hope during a trying historical time. Together with the collective’s six artists and additional collaborators, Buds Vol. 1 was born, the first mixtape from Rosebud that dropped May 22 and features 10 songs that flow between hip hop, pop, R&B, rap and soul.
Jayson ‘Jsun’ Rose & Drea The Vibe Dealer by Billy Giannopoulos
Rose, the executive producer of the mixtape, a musician and teaching artist, says some songs were pulled from the collective’s two-year catalog, while some were written, mixed and recorded within a month. For him, it made sense to create this project now and highlight the work the artists — who are all like one big music family — had been working, meant to be showcased this summer.
“Right now we are all collectively processing our own mortality; it’s an incredibly trying time,” Rose says. “Music is my whole life — it’s so important to me, it’s healing medicine. For me, that was my intention putting [the mixtape] together.”
The project presents Chicago-based artists Blake Davis, drea the vibe dealer, Mike Galperin, Gem Tree, Danielle Jones, ‘Kechi, Lil Smoke, Manny 10x, Marcus Reese, Rose, Sam Veren, Wyatt Waddell and Alex Wing. These artists are like new characters introduced for the first time and as they enter the broader music world, Rose wants the mixtape to take listeners on a journey and hear what these characters have to say.
Gem Tree by Morgan Durrah
“It’s that friendship, kinship and us all being buds and having that connection with our fan group as well, that comfortableness,” that is felt on the mixtape, he says, adding that the collective name felt like an appropriate way to represent the budding artists in their natural energy: collaborating and growing musically.
The compilation also provides a sneak peek into these artists who have been producing music for years, even if some songs are rough cuts and might not be their favorite works. But Rose wants amazing, talented musicians to be heard and though he never thought he would have the opportunity to create a mixtape of his favorite Rosebud songs, the quarantine showed the perfect opening.
Waddell, a Chicago native and multi-instrumentalist songwriter who flows between R&B, pop, funk and soul with a memorable vocal range, is one of the artists on the mixtape.
His song ‘If I Don’t Want You’ is simultaneously catchy and deep, full of falsetto harmonies, upbeat keys and guitar that blend funkadelic soul with jazzy riffs and wise lyrics we can all relate to.
Wadell originally wanted to keep this song for his first album ‘The Art of Nothing’ with Rosebud (currently in the works) but when the pandemic hit, he decided to include it on the mixtape to give listeners a peek of what’s coming. He says the song was one of the first ones he wrote with Rose when they meet about two years ago, and listening back to it makes him realize how much he has grown musically.
Wyatt Waddell by Sam Fuehring
“The stuff I am making now is light years ahead of what that is — it is nice to see,” Waddell says. “To look back on what you have made and how far you have come, that is very rewarding.”
Waddell said the collaborative talent and positive energy of the mixtape amid the pandemic also highlights the rich musical diversity from Chicago, which both he and Rose want to make sure is seen from all over the world.
“Corona is not stopping nothing. We are trying to put Chicago on the map with this type of music,” Waddell says. Rose also wants people to see Chicago as the first city of music — where the creation begins and passions are discovered — not the second city. Just because artists move away after they gain momentum does not give it any lesser value.
“Chicago is the breadbasket: Good ideas radiate from here,” he says. “There’s a collective respect for Chicago music because look at our history — we have everyone from Quincy Jones to Kanye West. We want Chicago to have that glitter and glam that some other cities have … and bring the spotlight back.”
Rose and co-founder Billy Ocean foster a collaborative, creative community of artists that produce music videos, poetry, visual arts and events (when the world isn’t in a pandemic) and now, mixtapes. As the world is in an anxious transition, art is always here to soothe the edges and make us feel connected to one another. And that’s exactly the goal with Buds, Vol. 1
“I hope this makes people feel good,” Rose says. “I hope it brings them some relief.”